Given my family, busy home life, teaching, learning, recording an audiobook, writing another book (and recording that), writing another book, and... you know... a day job, I don't have a ton of time to play Eve.
I know, I know. Priorities, right?
Since I'm a little tight on time, I try to focus on activities that yield something positive within a fairly well-defined block of time.
Faction Warfare suits me right down to the ground, for example: log in, undock, and a couple jumps to a contested system for either LP payout, PvP, or both. Or, a few bomber missions. Either way, something positive.
Scheduled roams can sometimes (not always) work out well. I've had some good experiences with the fairly new Redemption Road roams, and I've mentioned the RvB Ganked roams many, many times. It isn't always a great experience, but most of the time it is, and I like practically everyone I haven't muted on Mumble.
Last weekend was RvB's 100th roam, for which they'd ironically (but earnestly) planned a stationary fight: lots of capital ships and giant "come at me bro" sign. I decided to attend, because as I said, I like the guys and I wanted to celebrate with them.
Unfortunately, it didn't end up being one of those times when a Ganked Roam resulted in a good experience. The two hour (!) fleet muster window ended up stretched to three hours, several ships died just getting through highsec to the target system (one of them the battleship I'd decided to bring - hardly surprising as I always lose ships before ganked fleets even start if I don't bring an interceptor) and, once we got in system, the TiDi was... well, TiDi.
That all this happened at the same time as the HED-GP meltdown at least demonstrated to us (via Twitch.tv) that things could have been worse, but with over 600 "friendly" pilots in system, most of whom were (a) criminally flagged and (b) not in the same fleet, it was a bit of a hot mess, and took a good six hours before I gave up and headed out.
The best fight that whole time?
I was reshipping in a nearby system, and undocked in my trusty Taranis, straight into a Caldari faction war target, flying a Catalyst. After a momentary pause, I thought "I can kill a Catalyst, I bet. Maybe. Possibly... Fuck it!" and broke undock invulnerability to charge his guns. Managed to get in close before he could lock me and took him out with flames trailing behind me. GF, GF.
That said, if the highlight of a 1200-pilot fight is a 1v1 between you and a tech1 destroyer, several jumps away, that probably wasn't time well spent.
Never let it be said, however, that I won't try something twice, just because it was bad the first time!
The next day, GG had a Redemption Roam scheduled, and I put together a few ships to tag along.
Things started out poorly. Flying an interceptor, I was dropped into the scout and skirmish wing and shot out into Curse, but pulled a particularly boneheaded maneuver when I warped to the only station in YKE4-3 from the only gate in YKE4-3, at 100 kilometers. The executioner sitting near the station didn't worry me, as both the character and his ship's name made him look like a cyno alt. He entered warp, and I figured he was leaving...
... nope. He dropped right on top of me at my painfully easy-to-predict location and took out my Ares. I'm so bad at this game.
Meanwhile, the main body of the fleet (armor tanked missile destroyers and interdictors) had completely flubbed an attempt to catch a fleet of bombers and lost about half our ships only four or five jumps into the roam. Whoops.
As I said, things were looking bad. I was about to dock up and log out for the day when someone jumped onto comms and asked if our fleet of ~30 would be interested in a potential carrier kill in wormhole space.
I just want to pause here and reflect on the fact that someone decided to batphone a Redemption Road "RvB Ganked Hangover Fleet", because that was their best option. Wow.
Needless to day, we were interested. I and one other pilot made best speed for Rens (only a few jumps from the wormhole) and cobbled together a pair of Apocalypse battleships to make the carrier a slightly softer, energy-drained target. Once assembled, the SS iNeut set out for glory.
Considering how long mustering took the day before, the fact that everyone either reshipped into bigger stuff or flew 20+ jumps and was ready to attack inside 25 minutes was... refreshing.
We jumped into the wormhole, then over to the next wormhole, which would take us into the target system. Our scout got us a good warp-in, our tackle leap into motion, and a few seconds later I found myself in a lag-free, non-TiDi'd capital and battleship fight - my first time flying a neut/drone ship in anything over a six-pilot gang.
Everything exploded, we scattered back out to known space, I checked the clock, said my goodbyes, and logged.
Some days, what looks like the best event of all time turns out more than sub-optimal, and the best fight you get is a 1v1 with a war target somewhere far away from the main event.
Sometimes, you whelp most of the fleet and lose your scouting ship to a clever trap for stupid pilots... and turn around to get a nearly-flawless carrier kill.
You just never know.
That's why I love this game.